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Survey: #MeToo is changing behavior in Milwaukee workplaces

There is no doubt that the #MeToo movement has changed the way Americans think about sexual harassment in the workplace. But has the movement changed behaviors? A recent survey by professional women’s organization Tempo Milwaukee was designed to help answer that question.

According to the organization, more than 36 percent of the women who responded to the survey said they believe that workplace sexual harassment is less common since the #MeToo movement began about a year and a half ago.

Nearly half of the male respondents agreed, Tempo reported.

Many of our readers will recall that last year the group released a survey on #MeToo in which about 70 percent of respondents said they had been sexually harassed on the job.

In the new survey of 280 women and 103 men, about 48 percent of the men and 45 percent of the women said they have adjusted their workplace behavior around the opposite sex in order to avoid what others could perceive as sexual harassment.

While some men report feeling more anxious and cautious around female colleagues as a result of #MeToo, others reported feeling “more aware, empathetic and sensitive, while also acknowledging the role that power and privilege play in the way they interact with women.”

One male respondent reported that he’s less likely now “engage in office banter and one-on-one mentoring with female co-workers and subordinates,” adding that women are now sometimes “excluded from lunches and other outside activities because men don’t want to run the risk of something being misperceived.”

Regardless of gender or position in the workplace, no one should have to put up with unlawful sexual harassment or retaliation for reporting harassment. Though federal and Wisconsin laws both prohibit this unacceptable behavior, it can be difficult to stop on your own.

Contact the office of Alan C. Olson & Associates to discuss your legal options.

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